By Kevin Eickman
Last season the Milford boys basketball team started the season with a six game losing streak. An 0-6 hole that would eventually cost the Bucs a shot at the playoffs. While Milford was in most of those games, their failure to close out games was a key factor in their early season stumble.
This year has been a bit different for the Bucs, starting out the season with a 2-0 start. Gaining their first victory at Lake Forest 63-48 in the season opener, Milford traveled to Cape Henlopen Friday night to battle the Vikings.
While it may have been an early season contest, it is an indication that Milford has learned their lesson from last season. Milford got off to a fast start, as the senior duo of Tikeace Harris and Jason Parker dominated the Vikings as they put on a scoring show. With Milford playing solid defense, they ended the first quarter with a 20-13 advantage.
Milford continued to dominate in the second quarter, as Parker and Harris kept up the pace. While Cape would have their moments in the quarter, Milford would widen the gap each time they got close. When the dust had settled, Milford enjoyed a 41-33 halftime advantage, with Parker and Harris netting 18 points each. “We came out with the mentality that we were going to do it,” Parker stated.
The Vikings would not go quietly however as they produced a solid third quarter. Forcing the Bucs into some miscues, Cape worked their way back into the contest. Outscoring the Bucs 20-12, Cape evened the score just as time expired in the third quarter.
The game looked to be slipping away as Cape took the lead on their first possession of the fourth quarter. Last season this would be the point where Milford would become their own worst enemy but not on this evening, not in this game. The Bucs responded with a 10-2 run, and demonstrated that as the game gets tougher, so can their game.
While the offense had run through Parker and Harris most of the evening, the defensive adjustments by the Vikings dictated that some other players needed to step up. Milford did just that as senior Octavion Wilson provided key points, along with sophomore Devin Kravitz, who produced all 8 of his points in the fourth quarter. Those points included two clutch free throws in crunch time. “They really turned up the intensity and we had to have it,” coach B.J. Joseph stated. “The guys are really starting to understand their roles. We have two superstars, but someone has to rebound, somebody’s got to take the charges.”
When talking about what it took to win the game, Harris said it was a total team effort .“It comes down to everyone doing their job, it was everyone contributing,” commented Harris. “It doesn’t matter what you do, even the guys just cheering us on, that’s important too.”
Milford will face another tough Henlopen North team, as Caesar Rodney will travel to Milford on Tuesday for a 6:15 start.